Summary: At least five things are given to we who abide in Jesus Christ according to his own words here in John 15.
In Byron Harvey’s “The True Vine” I found this illustration:
(Pass out clusters of grapes to each row and ask that each one take one or two grapes from the cluster as it passes by).
Read John 15:1-17
The True Vine
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Love and Joy Perfected
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.
Abiding in Jesus means:
1. Bearing fruit
2. Answered prayer
3. Obeying the commands
4. Facing opposition from the world
5. Holy Spirit witness
In the Bible we see that stories have principles. The Jews called this the haggadah and the halakah. The haggadah is the story or narrative part of God’s word. The halakah is the principle or rule. The way these work is very important to our interpretation and application of the Bible.
Everybody loves a story. A good story builds identity. It makes the word relative to our lives in a way that we connect. God’s word is filled with stories. These are not just historical news items. The stories themselves are also the law of God. Usually after or sometimes during the story we see the rule or principle. It sometimes comes in the form of a commandment. The halakah is not just a “moral of the story,” but a God authorized application. Jesus uses haggadah and halakah in our text. First he pictures himself and the Father and his disciples in a story of the vine and branches in verses 1-6. Then he makes application in verses 7-17. He also tells us what to expect from the world: 18-25, and how we will be helped by the Holy Spirit: 26-27.
Let me read this with this in mind and see if it is helpful.
What do we find here? To begin with, Jesus gives us another “I AM” statement here to illustrate another aspect of our relationship with him. “I am the true vine.” Notice also Jesus’ inclusion of the Father as the vinedresser and his disciples as branches. Where does the fruit come from? Is it on the vine, or on the branches?
The vine is the source of life for the branches. The Father makes sure the branches on the vine are producing, otherwise he cuts them off.
The concern of this section is first, that the branches that are on the vine bear fruit. Who did Jesus say the branches are? Who are you in this story?
Second, we get this promise in verse 7 that is repeated again down in verse 16. If we abide in Jesus, we can expect him to answer our prayers. He is going to help us bear fruit. We ask for fruit, he helps us. Do you see that?